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The Flagship vs Midrange Debate: Galaxy A54 Review!

Samsung Galaxy A54 Delivers Impressive Features at Lower Price

  • The Samsung Galaxy A54 has great build quality, a 1080p flat AMOLED display, good performance, a decent camera and good battery life
  • It is significantly cheaper than the S23 Ultra but still delivers on many of the same features
  • It can get up to 1,000 nits and has a hole punch cut out with a metal ring around it
  • While the S23 Ultra has an adaptive display that can go from 120hz refresh rate down to 1 Hz when inactive, the A54’s display can adapt from 120hz down to 60 Hz
  • Overall the A54 offers 80% of the display quality of its flagship counterpart.

Samsung a54: Thinner Bezels, Mid-Range Chip, and Abundant Storage for Everyday Use

  • The Samsung a54 features thinner bezels, a mid-range chip – the Exynos 1380 – and 6GB of RAM
  • Performance is noticeably lower than a flagship chip but still sufficient for everyday tasks
  • The ultrasonic fingerprint sensor is faster than the optical sensor on the a54
  • Built-in storage is faster than expandable storage but expandable storage is available
  • Cameras are 50% of that of the flagship model, with no telephoto lens or 8K video capabilities but with an ultra wide lens wider than the flagship’s
  • Battery capacity of 5000 mAh.

Comparing Flagship and Budget Phone: Get 90% of Features for 1/3rd the Price

  • The comparison between the two phones’ battery life yields similar results
  • The Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 chip in the flagship phone offers much higher peak output, but is more efficient
  • The A54 lacks wireless charging and offers only a 25 watt max charging rate which is slow by 2023 standards
  • Overall, the A54 has 90% of the features of the flagship phone, but for 1/3rd of the price
  • Both phones have an identical unboxing experience with no charger included.

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foreignso here's the thing I used to be able tosay cheap phones are getting good andgood phones are getting cheap because itwas true for a while there but then westarted getting these more and moreexpensive Flagship phones they brokethrough this thousand dollar pricebarrier we've got super expensive phonesnow so I can no longer stand by thesecond half of that statementbut the first halfstill pretty compelling and so this isthe Samsung Galaxy a54 which just cameout pretty recently and representsroughly the middle-ish of Samsung'slineup where they've got phones at everyprice from like 160 bucks all the way upto nearly two thousand dollars and thisone actually has a great case to be thebest value in the entire lineup I didn'texpect to say that but I'm saying it nowbecause I've been using this phone forthe past two weeks and it actuallydelivers very well on a lot of thepremium smartphone experience but atliterally a third of the price of theflagship from the same company literallythis phone MSRP is like 400 450 bucksright nowyou sign the right contract in the USyou can basically get it for free andthe flagship that I've been dailydriving for like the first half of thisyear so far is the s23 ultra whichretails for twelve hundred dollars stillso what I wanted to find out and showyou in this video is how close does thisa54 get to this s23 Ultra or any ofthese Mega flagships that are like itbecause it's definitely not a third ofthe functionality so I'm breaking thisdown into five categories because theseare my five pillars of a greatsmartphone build quality displayperformance camera and battery so I'vesaid before if a smartphone can nail allfive of these things then it's a goodphone period And as a product goes downin price then you naturally expect it tostart to make some sacrifices in some ofthese areas so right from the top withbuild quality it gets interestingbecause Samsung kind of adopted thisthing where they use essentially thesame design language across their entirelineup to keep it consistent andrecognizable by but that also basicallymeans that this 1200 phone does not lookdramatically different from this 400 to450 phone Samsung is one of thesecompanies that only does the satin slashmatte finish on the backs of their mostpremium phones and so the squared offrails on the s23 ultra are a polishedaluminum for contrast the a54 on theother hand is the other way around it'sglossy glass on the back and it's a moreSatin finish on the aluminum rails and Ikind of like that too at the end of theday though they're literally both glassand aluminum and so really it comes downto two main differences between the twoone is the size they only come in thesesizes and so this a54 is definitivelysmaller and lighter than the ultra andtwo it's flat and that's totally finewhere the ultra does have this littlebit of a curve on the sides of thedisplay but to be honest yeah buildquality is very close here it is IP67versus ip68 which by definition isalmost the same thing and the a54 putsthe SIM card slot plus a expandablestorage at the top where the flagshipjust has a SIM card tray at the bottomwith no expandable storage if I cansafely assume that both Gorilla Glass 5and Gorilla Glass vectus 2 both scratchat a level six with deeper grooves at alevel seven I feel pretty comfortablesaying that the a54 is 90 of the buildquality of the flagship which is areally good startso then there's the displays now this isSamsung we're talking about here so theydefinitely go the extra mile with theflagship display no question about thatit is ridiculously good incrediblybright super sharp responsive adaptiveand efficient I mean every number onpaper is pretty close to maxed out fromthe 1440p resolution to the 1750 nits ofbrightness from an AMOLED panel 120hertz Max refresh rate but variable downto one Hertz with ltpo I mean it'spretty awesome so the a54 display is astep down on paper sure and when youactually use it you realize that they'vecut out like the extra bells andwhistles the over-the-top stuff that aremaybe a little more for The Fringesituations but still keep the screen toa pretty premium level for 99 of usecases so like I said this only comes inone size so it's a little smaller in theflagship but that's also probably a goodthing for some people because phones arehuge so this is a 6.4 inch 1080p flatAMOLED this is still over 400 pixels perinch so even though it can't do Quad HDit's still going to be pretty great formost people that aren't pixel peepinglike I am and it's still plenty bright Imean I'm looking at this thing it getsup to a thousand nits and regularly goesoutdoors and looks totally fine like inthe dashboard of my car and out in thesun no problems so in that way it'spretty close but you can also see thebezels all the way around are a littlebit thicker this is one of those thingsthat tends to get like pointed out inYouTube comments more than by peopleactually buying the phone but yeah it'strue it does have slightly bigger bezelsand a bigger chin it's not completelycorner to corner and then while the s23ultra has the ltpo that can adapt allthe way from 120 hertz down to 1 Hertzwhen it's not moving this a54 displaycan adapt from 120 hertz down to 60hertz and basically switch back andforth so not quite as adaptive andefficient but better than nothing and itgoes pretty blue off axis more than someof the more premium Samsung panelsalready do and also that hole punch cutout as I pointed out before is not quitethe little perfect black circle but itdoes have this little shiny metal ringthat can be slightly distracting whenthe Sun hits it at just the right angleit's a small thing but I gotta mentionit but yeah they still give you everysingle setting in here as the moreexpensive phone to dial in the display'scolors and match what you're looking forso overall I'm willing to say the a54has 80 of the display of the flagshipit's obviously not going to match it onpaper and in the most bleeding edgeextreme situations like direct outdoorsunlight and things like that then youcan see the difference but honestly mostof the time when you're just using thephone especially indoorsthey look very similar which is prettyamazing just with slightly thickerbezels so then there's performancenow this is where you start to get alittle bit of a wider Gap here so you'vealready heard about the flagshipSnapdragon 8 Gen 28 gigs of RAM one terabyte of storageall that good stuff uh this is workingwith a lesser chipset here so it's it'sjust not going to be as good so the a54is powered by an exynos 1380 chip whichbenchmarks about 50 to 80 percent lowerthan the Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 in CPU it'sit's a very comfortably mid-range chipI'll put it that way for context it'sputting up similar geekbench scores tothe a12 bionic which was in the iPhone10s in 2018. so pair this with six gigsof RAM and you've got a phone that youknow can handle everyday tasks but itisn't blowing anything out the water interms of performance and the specs areonly part of performance like when Iwhen I say performance as a pillarobviously you want it to be able to openapps very quickly and be smooth andreliable so for normal daily things likechecking email or social media scrollingor just subscribing to this YouTubechannel like it feels just like theflagships because it's fine and it'salso 120 hertz and it's smooth thatstuff doesn't require a super high-endchip now sure there are few droppedframes here and there and it does feel alittle bit different and if you gave methese two phones and didn't tell mewhich was which sooner or later I couldtell you which one was a lower end chipbut it would require me starting to pushyou know some higher end stuff startingto multitask starting to flip between acouple heavier apps at once opening andclosing a few things when you get tolike navigating while streaming musicover bluetooth you know while readingsomething in a web browser on a bigwebsite stuff like that then thedifference is actually really quitenoticeable and then the s23 line all hasthese like Lightning Fast ultrasonicfingerprint sensors while the a54 doeshave an optical sensor which is just abit slower and has to shine a light fora second instead of the ultrasonic oneswhich are more versatile you could alsoargue that built-in storage is going tobe faster than expandable although somepeople just don't care like they justwant expandable storage in which casethat's actually a benefit for the a54but yeah it's it's pretty clear that theperformance difference between Flagshipchipset and mid-ranger is pretty bigit's noticeable it's a it's a feel thingit's a smoothness thing if you haven'tused a more expensive phone you mightnot even notice but that's what it comesdown to and especially with the higherend tasksthese phones are running the samesoftware one UI 5.1 but just oneexecutes the same stuff a little morereliably and smoother so I'm going togive a5460 of the performance of the flagshipnot bad so now cameras cameras camerascameras we got all kinds of camerastypically cameras are what separate thegood phones from the great phonesand that's still true so you look at theback of the a54 and it looks just likeall the rest of the s23 series obviouslynot as many cameras as the ultra butwhen you actually hear that this is the50 megapixel main camera and this is the12 megapixel Ultra wide and this is a 5megapixel macronow you're starting to see where theysaved money like in what world do youwant a macro camera over a zoom camerathis is the obvious version of likemaking it look like the more expensivephone but saving some money not puttinga zoom but still having something thereso now the actual photo and video takingexperience is the same as the moreexpensive phones literally it's the sameapp the same UI the same features andbuttons so that's fine we can all saywhat we want about Samsung's layouts butyou know they work they're prettystraightforward and then the photos youget in good lighting they seem perfectlyfine like if you don't compare it tosomething super expensive these are allsuper passable sharp detailed normallooking photos maybe a little bit bluewith the white balance a little bitOverexposed but honestly short of thepixel 6A this is about as good as you'dexpect from a 450 phone but of courselike I said my goal is to compare it tothe super expensive big brothers so whenyou do that highlights a little moresome of the flaws of the a54's maincamera which really is just that ittends to overexpose and takeunnecessarily bright shots quite oftenand the white balance is a littleinconsistent but it's funny there'salways this angle always feels weirdbecause most people buying this phonehave never they have they haven't comefrom a 1200 phone they don't know what a1200 phonescapabilities would be so it's likecomparing a Toyota Corolla to a Suprasure they come from the same company butlike people buying the Corolla weren'tcross shopping with a Supra and theyweren't even thinking about getting aperformance of a Supra so just meputting them side by side helpshighlight the differences uh but yeahthis camera's set isfine I think sometimes I boil the cameraall the way down to like yeah this one'sjust fine but I really mean it it's finelike when you zoom in yeah you losesharpness because you went with a macroover a telephoto so it doesn't comeclose to touching the zoom performanceof the more expensive phone passed aboutfour or five x the a54 also can't do 8Kvideo or even 4K 60 like the flagshipcan but it can do everything else justfine and the ultra wide is pretty softas expected especially in lower lightbut it happens to actually be a tiny bitwider than the flagship's ultra wide soit's got that going for it you knowbetween the missing telephotos and theLesser compute powerthis one can go in a bunch of differentdirections but I'll say the a54 is 70 ofthe camera for most normal photos of theflagshipwhich ispretty good but then last but not leastbattery this one's pretty simple fivethousand milliamp hours 5000 milliamphours and so it turns out the usabledaily battery life of these two phonesis pretty similar butthe thing about the chips though is thethe Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 which is in a lotof the higher end newer phones now isit's really good it's it's also it'sboth more powerful and more efficient uhthan the XML so basically this flagshipphone is capable of way more it'scapable of a much higher Peak output andso you can actually Spike the usage alot and like run down the battery prettyhard if you wanted to but then it's alsomore efficient so for you know combiningit with this ltpo display just using itevery day regular scrolling social mediaemail hanging out you know this is It'sSip and Battery it's actually goingslower through battery than the a54 sothe a54 is more of a constant drain itdoesn't Spike as high but it doesn'thave as good standby time so the thecurve of the flagship phone might lookmore like spiky but the a54 looks morelike an even descent if that makes sensenow you also do not get wireless charcharging with the a54 despite the glassback that's one of those features thatyou sometimes see in phones at thisprice but it's definitely a commonemission and the max charging rate is 25watts which is straight up slow in 2023but it's fine it's serviceable there areall kinds of phones offering blazingfast like 50 80 100 plus watt chargingeven at this lower price point so evenif the battery isn't amazing you couldat least top up quickly if you had thatbut that's not here either so it'll takeabout an hour to charge from zero to 100totally average but overall it's it'snot a substantial weakness especiallyversus the flagship from the samecompany which only does 45 Watts soa54 battery experience is is like 90 ofthe flagship so if you total up all ofmy assessments uh and average them outover 500 points you get 78 of theflagship for a third of the price whichthat seems like it's pretty clear thatit's a pretty good deal now there's alsoof course lots of little things thatdidn't quite fit into those pillars likethe slightly better haptics of theflagship for example you might be reallyinto that or the bigger speakers thatcome from having a bigger phone that dosound better uh also there's a stylusin the big one uh also if you want decksyou'd have to pay up because the a54doesn't have that funny thing is theyboth have the exact same unboxingexperience which is just the phone nocharger but yeah these mid-rangers todaymasterfully mitigate the law ofdiminishing returnsmatching the flagship's Finesse for afraction of the fundsthanks for watchingcatch you guys in the next one peace[Music]